POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Election broadcasts refused for being in French



Déi Lénk leader David Wagner, pictured, explained party broadcasts had been refused by RTL because they were in French David Wagner

Déi Lénk leader David Wagner, pictured, explained party broadcasts had been refused by RTL because they were in French David Wagner

Luxembourg broadcaster RTL has refused to air two political broadcasts from the Déi Lénk (left) party ahead of the European elections because they are in French.

According to a parliamentary question from party leader David Wagner and Marc Baum, the party produced adverts for RTL and radio 100,7, in which two candidates spoke in French, one of the country’s three official languages. Wagner said this led to the advert being refused by RTL but not by public radio 100,7.

Luxembourg’s Independent Audiovisual Authority (Alia) made a written request to RTL not to use language as a criteria for refusing the broadcast. But RTL is standing firm, Wagner explained.

RTL responded with a press release saying that it it had a prior agreement with parties that outlined technical criteria for the adverts, which specified the use of Luxembourgish. “This practice already existed in the past and had never been questioned either by the political parties or by the [government media service] SIP as coordinator. In its new capacity as coordinator of the electoral campaign, ALIA received these rules, forwarded them to the parties without making any comments or objections and therefore accepted them, according to RTL as the basic elements of the electoral campaign,” RTL writes.

It further explained that another radio and television advert from the Volt party was also submitted in French.

“RTL is obviously not opposed to the use of other languages in official election messages, but is of the opinion that the rules must be the same for all parties. These rules must be defined before an election campaign, be clear and then be respected by each party. In this case, eight out of ten parties used the Luxembourg language for all their election messages, in accordance with the established rules. RTL is of the opinion that a change in last-minute rules creates unequal treatment between the parties,” RTL concluded.